1. Admit Your Faults
The key character quality in a good and lasting marriage is humility, and the way that humility demonstrates itself is when I'm approachable and willing to admit my faults. I don't get defensive, I don't turn the tables, I don't unpack on my spouse all of their weaknesses. I know that I'm not perfect. I know that I'm still a sinner, and I know that I'm going to have wrong thoughts, desires, attitudes. I'm going to say wrong things. I know I'm going to have a bad day because that's who I am, and so I'm humbly approachable.
Humility shows itself in a second way: that I'm willing to forgive. I love you and I understand the thing that I struggle with is something you struggle with, too, because we're in the process of maturing. We're not there yet. You never, ever, ever, ever will be a grace graduate. And you won't marry a grace graduate, so humility is so important—the humility of admission and confession and the humility of forgiveness.
The key character quality in a good and lasting marriage is humility.
You just can't have a good marriage without these two things. Without them, you’ll just build a greater and greater closet full of wrongs that you haven't let go of, and you’ll end up viewing your spouse through the vehicle of all those wrongs. What a horrible way to start a day. Rather than starting the day with unsettled accounts, you’ll be able to think of yourselves as your best, not as your worst. That's the only way a marriage can ever work.
Paul David Tripp is the author of Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make.
Paul Tripp answers questions from around the world about healthy communication, asking forgiveness, offering correction, and reigniting a sense of romance.
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Paul Tripp discusses how the gospel comes to bear on the day-to-day realities of marriage and why that's more than just a platitude.